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If you find yourself dealing with large medical bills, medical loans could help you pay them off over time. Medical loans are a type of personal loan that can be used to pay for anything from an emergency procedure to a planned elective surgery — or to refinance existing healthcare debt.
However, keep in mind that medical loans can typically be an expensive route to take. You’ll also need excellent credit to qualify for a good rate.
If you’re considering medical loans, here’s what you need to know:
- Personal loans for medical expenses
- How to qualify for a medical loan
- How to compare medical loan lenders
- How to apply for a medical loan
- Alternatives to medical loans
Personal loans for medical expenses
Medical loans are offered by several personal loan providers. Here are Credible’s partner lenders that offer personal loans for medical expenses:
To qualify for a medical loan from these or other lenders, you’ll typically need good to excellent credit, as well as verifiable income. Because of these eligibility factors — plus the interest costs you’ll pay on the loan over time — it’s usually a good idea to consider less expensive financial avenues first.
If you decide to use a personal loan, be sure to consider as many lenders as possible to find the right loan for you. Credible makes this easy — you can compare your rates from our partner lenders in the table below in two minutes.
|Lender||Fixed rates||Min. credit score|
|9.95% - 35.99% APR||550|
|8.99% - 35.99% APR||600|
|7.99% - 35.99% APR||580|
|5.99% - 22.49% APR||660|
|6.99% - 35.99% APR||640|
|7.99% - 23.43% APR10||Does not disclose|
|5.4% - 35.99% APR4||580|
If you have poor or fair credit, Avant could be a good choice for either a secured or unsecured personal loan. With Avant, you can borrow $2,000 to $35,000* with repayment terms from two to five years**.
Learn More: Where to Get a $20,000 Personal Loan Fast
In addition to your credit score, Best Egg considers more than 1,500 proprietary credit attributes from sources that include external data providers and your digital footprint — which means you might be able to qualify even with a shorter credit history.
With Best Egg, you could get a personal loan for from $2,000 to $50,000 with terms from two to five years to cover medical expenses.
Check Out: 12 Best Personal Loans for Fair Credit
LendingPoint specializes in working with borrowers who have near-prime credit — usually meaning a credit score in the upper 500s or 600s. You can borrow $2,000 to $36,500 with terms from two to six years.
If you have good credit and are looking to borrow $5,000 to $100,000, LightStream could be an option. With LightStream, you could get a loan specifically for medical financing — with no fees or prepayment penalties.
Check Out: How to Get a $100,000 Personal Loan Fast
Prosper offers loans specifically for medical expenses through its Healthcare Lending division and could be a good option if you’re looking for personal loans for fair credit.
With Prosper, you can borrow $2,000 to $50,000 with terms from two to five years, without worrying about deferred interest or any prepayment penalties.
SoFi could be another option for large medical bills — you can borrow $5,000 to $100,000 with terms from two to seven years, which can also be used to cover follow-up visits and medication.
With SoFi, borrowers also have access to several perks, including unemployment protection, career coaching, and financial planning sessions.
Upstart offers medical loans from $1,000 to $50,0005. Keep in mind that Upstart also uses machine learning to “price credit” — meaning that even if you have a lower credit score, you might be able to get a lower rate if your education and job history demonstrate additional potential.
Learn More: How to Get a $50,000 Personal Loan Fast
How to qualify for a medical loan
Each lender has its own set of requirements when it comes to qualifying for a personal loan to cover medical debt. However, there are a few common eligibility criteria you’ll likely have to meet, including:
- Good credit: You’ll typically need good to excellent credit to qualify for a personal loan for medical expenses — a good credit score is usually considered to be 700 or higher. There are also some lenders that offer medical loans for poor credit. However, these bad credit loans usually come with higher interest rates compared to good credit loans.
- Verifiable income: Some lenders have a minimum income requirement while others don’t — but in either case, you’ll likely need to provide proof of income to show you can afford to repay the loan.
- Low debt-to-income ratio: Your debt-to-income (DTI) ratio is the amount you owe on monthly debt payments compared to your income. To be eligible for a personal loan, your DTI ratio should be no higher than 40% — though some lenders might require lower ratios than this.
How to compare medical loan lenders
As you weigh your medical loan options, it’s important to shop around and compare as many lenders as you can to find the right loan for your situation.
Here are a few important factors to keep in mind as you do your research:
- Interest rates: The interest rate on your loan will play a major role in determining how much your loan will cost. In general, the better your rate, the lower your overall loan amount will be. Your credit and the repayment term you choose will also impact the rates you’re offered.
- Repayment terms: You’ll typically have one to seven years to repay a personal loan for medical expenses, depending on the lender. It’s usually best to choose the shortest term you can afford to keep your interest costs as low as possible. Additionally, several lenders offer better rates to borrowers who opt for shorter terms.
- Loan amounts: Personal loans typically range from $600 up to $100,000 (or more), depending on the lender.
- Fees: Lenders sometimes charge fees on personal loans, such as origination fees. These can increase your overall loan cost. Keep in mind that if you take out a personal loan through Credible, you won’t have to worry about prepayment penalties.
Before you borrow, also be sure to think about how much a personal loan will cost you — this way, you can be prepared for any added expenses. You can estimate how much you’ll pay for a loan using our personal loan calculator below.
Enter your loan information to calculate how much you could pay
With a $ loan, you will pay $ monthly and a total of $ in interest over the life of your loan. You will pay a total of $ over the life of the loan.
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Learn More: Debt Consolidation Loans
How to apply for a medical loan
If you’re ready to apply for a medical loan, follow these four steps:
- Research and compare lenders. Be sure to consider as many lenders as you can to find the right loan for your situation. Consider not only interest rates but also repayment terms, any fees charged by the lender, and eligibility requirements.
- Pick your loan option. After comparing lenders, choose the loan option that best suits your needs.
- Complete the application. Once you’ve picked a lender, you’ll need to fill out a full application and submit any required documentation, such as tax returns or pay stubs.
- Get your loan funds. If you’re approved, the lender will have you sign for the loan so the funds can be released to you. The time to fund for a personal loan is usually about one week — though some lenders will fund loans as soon as the same or next business day after approval.
If you’re ready to find your loan, Credible can help: You can see your prequalified rates from multiple vetted lenders in just two minutes — without affecting your credit.
Alternatives to medical loans
There are also other options available to help you pay for medical expenses. Here are a few alternatives you might consider:
- Credit cards with 0% APR: If you’re considering a personal loan vs. credit card, keep in mind that some credit cards offer 0% APR for a short introductory period. If you’re able to pay off your credit card balance by the time this period ends, you could avoid paying interest. Just keep in mind that if you still have a balance after this time, you’ll likely be subject to some steep interest.
- Medical credit cards: These are credit cards specifically for medical expenses — some are available directly from lenders and others from healthcare providers. Many of these cards offer low to no interest on payment plans.
- Payment plans: If you’re unable to pay for a medical procedure upfront, your healthcare provider might allow you to set up a payment plan.
Keep Reading: Credit Card Consolidation Loans
Eric Rosenberg contributed to the reporting of this article.
About Rates and Terms: Rates for personal loans provided by lenders on the Credible platform range between 5.40%-35.99% APR with terms from 12 to 84 months. Rates presented include lender discounts for enrolling in autopay and loyalty programs, where applicable. Actual rates may be different from the rates advertised and/or shown and will be based on the lender’s eligibility criteria, which include factors such as credit score, loan amount, loan term, credit usage and history, and vary based on loan purpose. The lowest rates available typically require excellent credit, and for some lenders, may be reserved for specific loan purposes and/or shorter loan terms. The origination fee charged by the lenders on our platform ranges from 0% to 10%. Each lender has their own qualification criteria with respect to their autopay and loyalty discounts (e.g., some lenders require the borrower to elect autopay prior to loan funding in order to qualify for the autopay discount). All rates are determined by the lender and must be agreed upon between the borrower and the borrower’s chosen lender. For a loan of $10,000 with a three year repayment period, an interest rate of 7.99%, a $350 origination fee and an APR of 11.51%, the borrower will receive $9,650 at the time of loan funding and will make 36 monthly payments of $313.32. Assuming all on-time payments, and full performance of all terms and conditions of the loan contract and any discount programs enrolled in included in the APR/interest rate throughout the life of the loan, the borrower will pay a total of $11,279.43. As of March 12, 2019, none of the lenders on our platform require a down payment nor do they charge any prepayment penalties.